Understanding Visual Music (UVM) 2015 Conference Diary

I was very fortunate to attend this conference at the University of Brasilia, Brazil, between 10th-12th June 2015 and tried to keep a brief diary. Here's what I got with some added videos, photos and links...

This is a snapshot of my experiences and is not a full account of the conference! More details can be found on the official website: http://uvm2015.unb.br/  Full proceedings are available here: UVM Proceedings

Sunday 7th - Tuesday 9th June. Travel and Initial Thoughts
Catch train to Manchester Piccadilly.  Dreadful night sleeping at Lisbon airport. Very few soft benches and noisy all night. Long flight but arrived Monday 8th June before sundown. Easy transit through customs, case in tact 🙂 Take taxi to hotel , about 20 mins and 50 Brazilian Reals. Quick shower then early night about 7:30 local time. (4 hours behind UK time)

Tuesday 9th June. Slept ok. Awake just after 5, go for breakfast at 6.15. Good selection but couldn't find any black tea. Oh no need tea in a morning! Decided to try burn off the jet lag by going for a run, which included Parque da Cidade. Wasn't sure how far it would be or how easy but it was fairly easy in the end. Went around 6.5 miles of mainly open space, but had to negotiate a few wide busy roads.

After getting back did a bit of emergency shopping, especially to find a power adapter. Plugged it in and got a shock! Second set of protruding prongs were live when plugged it in. Oh well. Nice buffet dinner at the mall, but opted for a not so good pizza later.  Really like the buffet meals option, which is charged by weight. It means you get what you want but can be difficult to figure out which foods are vegetarian.

Wednesday 10th June
Had a short run around the park again. Did a quick loop over the lake bridge. Breakfast then off to conference. Held at Beijordormo, Darcy Memorial building.

Busy schedule all the way through, from 10.30 start until 9.10 back at the hotel after the cinema. Good introduction talk from Ricardo dal Farra and other talks you can find on the official schedule at the website above.

Artistic Program

A bus was laid on for our transport to the Cultural Centre, CCBB, where the video music was to be screened. Lots of great videos, many created via computer animation a selection below...

Et Ignis Involvens


Ivan Penov “Entropy Swing”


Thursday 11th June
Very tired this morning, and it's the day I give a talk. Had breakfast then a short walk to try tire me out and managed to get half hour's sleep or so, so felt revived. Coffee and dinner at the mall then taxi to UnB. It was very difficult for the taxi to find Beijodromo, the campus is huge, but got here in plenty of time to catch the presentations.

Gave my talk entitled 'Visually Inspired Visual Music from a Musicians Perspective'. It was based around my PhD thesis with some software and video examples. Photos courtesy of Antenor Ferreira

Seemed to go pretty well and the slides are available on academia.edu here: https://www.academia.edu/19398164/Visually_Inspired_Visual_Music_from_a_Musicians_Perspective. Lots of other good talks again during the academic sessions...

Artistic Program

An excellent artistic program tonight including:

Speech 1


Cloud Chamber

Strong entries all round and got lots of positive feedback on my piece, Diffraction, which was also on the bill. Afterwards there was a brief performance by Wilton Azevedo (http://wiltonazevedo.tumblr.com/) then back to the hotel bed!

Friday 12th June
Early jog around the park again. Went for it this time and managed to get a decent time on a Strava segment. Info here if you're into Strava stats! https://www.strava.com/activities/323791277 . Joe Hyde gave an excellent key note speech containing lots of historical references entitled 'The audiovisual contract: Towards a phenomenological approach to sound/image Relationships'. The academic activities ended with a brief discussion about this and future UVM conferences where, among other things, peer review of creative works was suggested.

During the discussion Jo Hyde also recommended this Facebook group that discusses all matters related to electronic video: https://www.facebook.com/groups/VIDEOCIRCUITS/

Artistic Program

Cinema: challenging program tonight exploring the boundaries of what can be considered as visual music.. This topic was addressed by Ricardo Dal Farra in his closing talk at the academic conference earlier and has been a recurring theme throughout the history of UVM. The Stand out piece was Jean Piche's work.

Horizons [Fractured, Folded, Revealed]

The laptop orchestra of Brasilia (BSBLOrk) performed afterwards and once they got into their improvisational flow created an excellent sonic conclusion to the proceedings. A snippet of the performance is shown in this video.

BSBLOrk @ UVM-Understanding Visual Music closure

Personally thought they reminded me of experimental early pink Floyd with processed live instrumentation set against delayed layers of synthetic improvisations.

After much discussion (it took ages!) most went to the restaurant for food (forgot the name). I was introduced to the Brazilian spirit Cachaça . A Whisky like drink but a bit sweeter.

Saturday 12th June
Pack everything away in my bags and cases, ready for a noon checkout, and walk to two Oscar Niemeyer buildings, the National Museum and the Cathedral of Brasilia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Brasilia). Below is a selection of the photographs I took on route.

Long flight home but managed a few hours sleep and the journey soon passed. Back to the English weather but nice to be home after such a brilliant experience!

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